Pro-lifers from National Review to the Family Research Council are freaking out about Arlen Specter's remarks on what judges the President should nominate. My counsel (as a most avid pro-lifer, myself) is that everybody take a breath. Specter's lib/moderate status is not such a terrible thing. Nominees who do come out the relatively friendly confines of the Judiciary Committee will be more or less pre-approved. The normal rules still apply. Nominate people without a big paper trail and let them through.
Which seat is being filled is also something that should be considered. Bush should be given deference in appointing a serious conservative to Rehnquist's chair because that won't change the balance of the court at all. On the other hand, when he replaces Stevens, there will more scrutiny because that will be a major change in the court's ideology and Bush will have to be careful to select someone basically undeniable.